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Probation Violations

Probation violations are offenses that happen when you break the terms or conditions of your probation. The consequences associated with probation violation generally rely on a variety of factors, such as the nature and seriousness of the violation, whether you have any previous violations, and whether there are various other circumstances that may lessen (or worsen) the extent of the situation. A probation violation may end up in significant penalties, such as hefty fines, extended probation, jail time, or more.

Probation Violations | San Diego Criminal Defense Attorney


How Probation Is Violated

Probation violation laws vary among the states and are influenced by federal and state law. Generally, a probation violation happens when you ignore, avoid, refuse, or otherwise break the terms or conditions of your probation at any time during the probation duration. Probation typically runs from one to three years, but may additionally last for a number of years based on the original offense.

Probation may be violated in many various ways. Circumstances that may lead to a probation breach include:

  • Not showing up during a planned court look on a set date and time;
  • Not reporting to your probation officer at the planned time or place;
  • Not paying any needed fines or restitutions (to victims) as purchased by a court;
  • Checking out certain people or locations, or traveling out of state without the authorization of your probation officer;
  • Possessing, using, or offering unlawful drugs;
  • Committing other crimes or offenses; and
  • Getting arrested for another offense, irrespective of whether criminal or perhaps not.

When Probation Is Violated -- What Happens Next?

Warning or Request to look in Court

There isn't any set rule as to just what takes place after a probation violation is reported. Probation officers have broad discretion to issue a warning, or need you to appear in court for a probation breach hearing. In determining, a probation officer may consider the severity and kind of condition violated, previous probation violations or warnings, and other factors. If you are requested to appear in court, the probation officer will request some form of penalty, which may possibly include prison time.

Determination of Probation Violation

During a probation hearing, a judge will hear your case to think about whether you violated any terms or conditions of your probation. The prosecuting lawyer will require to prove a violation occurred by a "preponderance of the evidence" standard, or by a likelihood of more than 50 percent. Factors a judge might think about range from the nature, kind, and severity of the violation claimed, as well as a history of previous probation violations and other aggregating or mitigating circumstances.


If you are found responsible of probation breach, sentencing will occur soon after the probation hearing, at which time the judge may expand your probation, enforce additional probation terms, order you serve a brief time in prison, or revoke your probation completely and require you to serve away any time of your original sentence in prison. Factors a judge may consider in determining your sentence may include the nature and way of the offense and whether the offender was a "first-time" or "repeat" offender, among other considerations.

Legal Rights at a Probation Hearing

If you are facing probation violation costs, it's important to understand your legal liberties to lessen or stay away from additional penalties and effects. Generally, you've got the right to: (1) receive written notice of the claimed violations against you, (2) be heard by a neutral judge in judge, (3) attorney representation, and (4) to present proof and witnesses to help your case, or refute proof against you. A local attorney or other expert legal adviser can assist you understand the legal rights available to you at a probation hearing in your particular state.

Penalties and Punishment for Violating Probation

Judges have actually broad discretion to impose prison phrases or other charges for probation violations, subject to the maximum limits of a specific state statute. Some of the lighter penalties for violating your probation consist of having to perform community solution, attend rehabilitation, "boot camp" or other programs directed at correcting the behavior. Other, more severe, penalties consist of having to spend big fines or restitutions (financial fines to victims), or having to serve a brief time in prison. The judge may also revoke your probation entirely and need you to serve the staying terms of your original phrase in prison.


Probation violation is a severe offense that happens when an individual prevents or breaks any of the terms or conditions of his or the woman probation. Whenever those terms are broken, the person serving probation confronts severe consequences and penalties, including the possibility of extra probation terms, significant fines, a revoked probation or, more significantly, jail time.